Dual Citizenship Facts

Dual citizenship occurs when a US citizen maintains two citizenships, usually US citizenship and citizenship of a country of origin. The US permits dual citizenship in order to allow new citizens to enjoy more flexibility and more choices. There are many reasons why someone would want to maintain dual citizenship:

  • Out of respect to a home country. Some newcomers to the US want to maintain close ties to their roots and want to celebrate their country of origin. Maintaining dual citizenship may allow a person to maintain links to their country of origin.
  • To make travel to a home country easier. Many new US citizens still have family abroad and in some cases, having dual citizenship can make it easier to travel between the US and a home country. With dual citizenship, you do not have to surrender your original citizenship, which can make it easier to enter and re-enter your home country, even for extended periods of time.
  • To allow children to maintain their heritage and status. Maintaining citizenship of a home country can allow an individual to enjoy the benefits of US citizenship but can also allow the individual to ensure that any children Ú even those born in the US Ú can be citizens of a home country, as well. In most countries, any child born to a citizen is a citizen of the country, as well. Therefore, maintaining two citizenships allows children to have two citizenships, as well.
  • Maintaining benefits of a home country. Becoming a US citizen ensures that you can enjoy all the benefits and privileges of US citizenship. Maintaining a dual citizenship can ensure that you maintain any benefits of citizenship from your home country.

While many naturalized US citizens choose to become just US citizens, some do choose dual citizenship. If you are considering dual citizenship, you must first determine whether your home country permits dual citizenship. If your home country does not, you cannot enjoy dual citizenship. If your home country does permit it, you will want to consider whether there may be any conflicts of interest in maintaining dual citizenship. That is, in order to become a US citizen, you will need to take an oath of allegiance to the US. You need to ensure that maintaining your current citizenship will not interfere with your ability to swear allegiance to the US. As well, you need to consider whether you will want high levels of security with your US citizenship. If you want to enjoy high levels of security clearance for public office or for a government job, you may not be able to enjoy the highest levels of security clearance if you have any foreign influence, including a foreign citizenship.